So last time I talked about fitness on here, way back at the start of everything, we had a Peloton bike. And now we don’t. What I didn’t mention in that post is that we also had ordered a Peloton treadmill and they delivered it at the same time but it didn’t work. And then they came back that day and totally replaced it piece by piece and… it didn’t work. And then they said “we’ll reschedule in our system and we should be able to come back next week!” except they didn’t and then we went into stay at home, and then Peloton just didn’t want to come and collect this lump of uselessness out of my garage even when King County went into the next phase and they started delivering again. All this nonsense meant that we just weren’t interested in keeping the bike either, so eventually we told them that we were moving house and that they needed to collect their things because we were not moving them to the new house (did you know that Peloton gets really grumpy if you move the equipment from where they set it up?). They eventually collected them the day before we were due to close on the house.
Anyway! We obviously still wanted some equipment at home while the gyms have been closed, so chose the Nordictrack S22i bike and X32i treadmill. Both the bike and treadmill have two ways of changing how you work out on them – either by changing the gradient (so you’re going up – or down! – a hill) and then changing the resistance/speed. One feature that I really love on these is that the gradient/resistance/speed can automatically change according to the workout you’re doing.
I mentioned on Instagram and in my resolutions post that I’ve been using the Apple Fitness Plus app for workouts, so I thought it might be useful to tell you what I think of Peloton, Fitness Plus and iFit (which is the subscription for Nordictrack).
Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard of Peloton? Peloton has been around for a few years and has lots of classes in their library so there’s a lot of variety in music and instructors. I tend to stick with the same instructors (I like Leanne and Hannah F) because they have the sort of music that I like to listen to – I feel like when I enjoy the music, then I work a little harder.
The downside to being a digital Peloton user is that the instructors will call out specific numbers so if you don’t have a Peloton bike, then you’ll probably end up working out what the equivalent is on your bike. When I first started using the digital app, before my gym got the actual bikes, I would use an old spin bike there where the resistance went from 1 – 25 and since the resistance on Peloton goes 1 – 100, I would just divide the number they gave by 4. Not quite so easy to do on my home bike (where resistance goes 1 to 24, then gradient goes -10 to 20) but I just kinda guess. It also kinda annoys me that the digital subscription is a third of the cost of the subscription if you own the bike – the only thing I guess you miss out on really is getting the power statistics and being on the leaderboard.
iFit is an interesting programme, because it’s not specific to Nordictrack – it’s owned by the parent company of Nordictrack, who also own some other fitness equipment brands, so there’s a much wider variety of things you can get that will fit your needs. It’s not just treadmills and bikes either, you can get rowers and elliptical machines with iFit set up and apparently there are cable machines and “reflective equipment” otherwise known as those mirrors with screens built in that show you the moves to do.
The thing I really enjoy about iFit is that it’s not just studio classes – there are tons of outdoor activities where a trainer will (usually) go along with you and chat with you. For example, I did a workout on the treadmill before Christmas which was a walk/run around the Dresden Christmas Market which was really lovely! You can also set up your own workouts which use Google Street View, so it’s almost like walking around anywhere you can think of. (I’ve tried this out with some treadmill workouts around Bristol, and the gradient was automatically adjusting which was great)
However, the thing I dislike about iFit is that they are not a music first workout. With the spin classes on Fitness Plus and Peloton, the instructor usually designs the playlist to fit the workout, so it’s easier to work out how long a push will be. iFit didn’t have actual music for the longest time, it would be the sort of thing you get when you’re looking for royalty free music for YouTube. They’ve recently announced (like, in the last month) that there is “mainstream music” now available, but that means there’s one radio station which plays tracks and that just goes under whatever the instructor is saying. This means that sometimes the song will end in the middle of a push which is disconcerting!
The live classes are at times that suck for the west coast, but to be fair, Peloton’s times also suck, there’s just more of them so it’s possible you’ll find a class that works.
Apple Fitness Plus
This only launched in the last few weeks, so I haven’t used it as much but what I’ve done so far, I’ve really enjoyed. I think you need a newer Apple Watch to be able to take advantage of this, I have been using an Apple TV to watch the workouts but you can also use your phone or iPad.
I really like that the instructors are really different to each other – different ages, different backgrounds and different body types. There’s a bit more inclusivity as well with better subtitles than Peloton (I don’t think iFit actually has subtitles which makes no sense, considering there’s no music in the classes so you couldn’t even feel through a class) and I’ve noticed that the instructors will use some sign language throughout their classes.
I like that there’s no live classes, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not joining at a specific time. There’s no leaderboard, only the “burn bar” which tells you how you’re performing compared to everyone else who’s taken that class so far, and it’s easy to get rid of completely and not see it until you turn it back on.
You’re not tied to any one piece of equipment either
The downsides to F+ is that there’s not many classes in the library yet so I’m still keeping my Peloton subscription for variety (happily, my credit card had an offer of 9 months free access so it’s not costing me anything) and it would be nice if I could work out with Alex – when you open the app on the TV, you choose which watch is working out so you can see the stats on the screen. (It might be an Apple TV failing that you can’t have two watches working out at the same time, but I don’t know how that works)
Peloton is $13/mo for digital access, and $39/mo if you have the bike. Fitness Plus is $10/mo, but there are various bundles – we have the premier Apple One bundle which gives you access to all the things for $30/mo (We already subscribed to Music, TV and News as well as sharing 2TB of iCloud space, so it actually saved us money to upgrade). iFit was free for the first year with each item (although I think it’s a subscription that’s shared over the devices, so maybe we have 2 years free? I don’t actually know) and will be $39/mo.
So which one would I recommend? Honestly…I don’t know. Until F+ builds up their library, I wouldn’t want to rely on that alone, but I much prefer it to Peloton. I wouldn’t recommend iFit if you don’t have a compatible piece of equipment. (I’m not even sure I will subscribe once the included subscriptions run out). If you can, I would try out a trial of each type of class before making any big equipment purchases.